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Nov 13, 2012

More From This Past Weekend's Various Races

Jorge Lorenzo (99).

LOS ANGELES, CA Yamaha Factory Racing rider Jorge Lorenzo suffered some unfortunate bad luck in the 18th and final round of the 2012 season in the Grand Prix of Valencia on Sunday. The 2012 MotoGP World Champion Lorenzo gambled on slick tires and after initially dropping from second on the grid to eighth the Rockstar Energy rider began to make steady progress back up the field. By the fourth lap Lorenzo had taken the lead, which he maintained until lap 13, pulling nearly a four second gap to chasing Dani Pedrosa. Disaster struck when he came off the dry line to lap CRT rider James Ellison on the same lap, losing grip on the damp surface and suffering a huge high side crash. Lorenzo was lucky to walk away without serious injury and will be ready to take part in testing on Tuesday and Wednesday for the 2013 season.

"I'm happy because we are world champions and that is the most important thing," said Rockstar Energy's Lorenzo. "Maybe if we had arrived here without the title decided it could have been another story and I wouldn't be so happy. I had a lot of hopes to win today, I chose a really risky tire strategy and I was making a really good race. Dani was catching me a little bit but then I managed to have a four second lead. I came up to the slower riders and I'm not sure what happened, maybe the marshals didn't put up the blue flags quickly enough but I was losing some time stuck behind them. I was behind Ellison and he stayed on the racing line, I couldn't wait for another corner to overtake him as I was losing time. I overtook and made a mistake, outside the dry line and I had a big high side."

Over the season the world champion amassed an impressive six race wins and ten second place finishes to secure the 2012 title. Lorenzo will begin testing on Tuesday and Wednesday for the 2013 season.

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More, from a press release issued by

KELSEY WINS AT CMRA FINALE sponsored Danny Kelsey posted two wins in the Central Motorcycle Roadracing Association sprint championship series finale held at the very fast Texas World Speedway. The event was also an opportunity for Kelsey to capture three CMRA sprint championships as well as the CMRA #1 plate for a second straight year.

Grids for the CMRA finale were full and riders from Mexico and all parts of the United States would make for intense competition, but mother nature trumped all riders with a recipe of strong winds with threats of rain on Sunday. Only 40 points separated Kelsey from his championship rival and current championship leader Ty Howard. The team knew first hand from last year's final event that "anything can happen" when you are trying to capture the #1 plate.

Friday practice went well with Kelsey and the team as they sorted out the Michelin equipped Suzuki GSXR-750 to overcome more bumps and tricky traction areas that have developed on the aging road course. Although Kelsey appeared quickest on Friday, his main championship rival was absent and the team agreed that more work would need to be done to ensure that they would be ready to run up front on Sunday. Crew chief Marcus McBain pulled the shock and forks off to rework them a bit and provide an extra second or two for Kelsey come Sunday. With the displacement disadvantage the Suzuki 750 has in the liter bike classes, the chassis setup had to be optimal to overcome the long straights during this CMRA championship weekend for Kelsey to win all four races.

Kelsey and the team were correct in their assumptions when Howard dropped some very fast lap times on Saturday during the CMRA endurance race. Sunday morning practice also confirmed that setup had improved on the GSXR and Kelsey bettered his lap times by over a second and half from Friday's practice times. Kelsey was ready for the final round for the CMRA overall championship and his class championships respectively.

B Superstock was the first event of the day for Kelsey, and Danny dropped the hammer on the big red Suzuki to hold a two second lead as he crossed the line after one lap. On lap 2, Kelsey put in the fastest lap of the race with a 1:46.061 and continued to increase his lead. At the checkered flag, he won by 7.078 seconds and he secured his first championship for 2012.

A Superstock was the first "showdown" between Kelsey and Howard. With only 3 points separating the two Texas riders in the class, it would be a "winner take all" for the class championship. At the drop of the green flag, Kelsey dropped a 1:49.3 lap from a standing start to lead lap one. Howard was close behind Kelsey though as he would pull up to Danny at the end of the long front straight. Laps two, three, and four, played out the same with Kelsey entering the front straight on his JRi Shock equipped GSXR with a strong drive and a 0.5 - 0.7 second lead with Howard pulling up by the end of the straight.

On the final lap Kelsey focused on creating as much gap as possible in the infield so that Howard would not be able to draft by at the line. As Kelsey entered the final turn, a lapper was right in the middle of the turn and Danny had to alter his line and lost almost all of his drive onto the long front straight. As Kelsey drifted low on the TWS banking for the checkered flag run, Howard picked up Danny's draft and took the win by less than 0.1 second as well as the class championship.

The team was disappointed, but B Superbike was up next and Kelsey's final championship opportunity. With only three points separating Danny and Derek Wagnon, this was another "winner take all" event. Wagnon would be ready to take advantage of any miscue by the Georgetown, Texas rider, Kelsey was already focused on putting in an even stronger effort than his first two races. As the green flag dropped for B Superbike, Kelsey put in another fast first lap with a 1:49.709. He followed that up with the fastest lap of the race with 1:44.988 on lap two as he stretched his lead his lead to nearly 4 seconds at the end of lap two. At the checkered flag, Kelsey took the win by 6.353 seconds and his second CMRA championship for the year.

The final race of the day for Kelsey and the team was A Superbike and it would mark the final race between Danny and Ty Howard. Danny took the green flag and lead lap one on his GP Suspension equipped GSXR-750, but Howard was again following close. Kelsey continued to lead, but Howard would take the lead on lap three. Kelsey pushed hard, but was unable to recapture the lead. With the win Howard not only won the race, but the 2012 CMRA overall championship.

After the race, Danny Kelsey went over and congratulated Ty Howard on his race and his efforts for the 2012 CMRA overall championship. "I congratulate Ty on his season and his racing today. He ran strong all year and has definitely earned the overall championship this year. I also appreciate the sportsmanship that Ty and I are able to share despite the fact that we are competing against each other in some really tight racing on the track," reflected Kelsey.

"I am really proud of Danny (Kelsey) and the job he did. We keep having competitors, fans, and sponsors watch him ride and realize he is doing a lot with a bike that is a little long in the tooth. For all the laps and races he completed this year, I can count the number of mistakes Danny made on one hand. Not too many crew chiefs can say that about their riders. Also, the level of focus and consistency he has while I try to keep the bike running after 3 hard year of racing on it is incredible. We don't have a backup bike and he knows he can't make any mistakes on the track. It is tough to compete like that and I can't complement him enough on the job he has done this year," observed crew chief Marcus McBain. would like to thank its sponsors KMC Controls, Rig Tech, Chris Hamilton, JRi Shocks,, Shoei Helmets, Eagles Canyon Raceway, Komodo, Lone Star Track Days, GP Suspension, Dynojet, DP Brakes, LP Racing, Hotbodies, Arata, K's Motorsports, Vortex, WRW Racing, Sam's Cycle Salvage, and Island Racing Services for their continued support.

More, from a press release issued by Bridgestone:

Valencia MotoGP™ debrief with Shinji Aoki

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Bridgestone slick compounds available: Front: Soft, Medium. Rear: Medium, Hard (Asymmetric)
Bridgestone wet tyre compounds available: Soft (Main), Hard (Alternative)

The final race of the 2012 MotoGP™ season at Valencia's Circuit Ricardo Tormo was won by Repsol Honda's Dani Pedrosa ahead of Yamaha Factory Racing's Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Repsol Honda's Casey Stoner in second and third place respectively. The lead-up to the race was dominated by the variable weather conditions that saw a late scramble among the teams to fit a set of tyres that best suited damp but drying tarmac.

The track temperature at the start of the race was just 14°C, but a prominent dry line resulted in eleven of the twenty-two riders on the grid starting the race on slick tyres including four riders starting from pit-lane - with the rest of the field opting for wets. No further rain fell during the race so within five laps all the riders on wet tyres switched on to their bikes fitted with slicks.

Q&A with Shinji Aoki Manager, Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development Department

It seemed that there were many late decisions on tyre choice on the starting grid, what recommendations did Bridgestone make to riders in regards to race tyre choice in the tricky conditions?

"The starting grid before the race was extremely busy with many teams rushing to change tyres between the different specifications of wet tyre as well as changing from wet to slick tyres. This was because riders could see that despite the track being mainly wet a prominent dry line had begun to appear and would only get more pronounced if no further rain fell.

"Our recommendations were based on the conditions at the start of the race and so for those riders which wanted to use the wet tyre, we recommended they use the alternative option, hard compound wet tyre for greater durability on the drying track. However, many riders correctly predicted that no further rain would fall and so decided to use slicks in the hope that the condition of the track later in the race would better suit them and in this case the softer front and rear slicks were the only viable option. As we saw during the race, this decision paid off for many riders, but also caught some riders out when they drifted off the dry line."

How did the slick tyres fare on a track that was so cold and wet in many areas?

"The only specification of slick used for the race were the softer options and these performed well considering the conditions. Two of the key technical requirements we engineered for our 2012 specification slick tyres were greater warm-up performance and enhanced rider feel and both of these traits were important in the conditions that we experienced on Sunday. I think it was the ability of our tyres to get up to operating temperature so quickly that convinced so many riders to start the race on slicks."

The post-season test at Valencia started today. Did Bridgestone supply any new tyres for the riders to test?

"Yes we have brought two new experimental rear tyres to Valencia for riders to evaluate. One tyre will be available to works riders only and features our new hard rubber compound that is slightly softer than our current hard compound. For the CRT riders we have a new soft option rear slick which is more suited to the lower power output of these machines compared to the softer option slick we supplied for the race. We expect that the CRT specification soft tyre will be used during the test if we don't have rain tomorrow, however the cool weather at Valencia may prevent testing of the slick featuring our new hard rubber compound."